Harvey Weinstein and his bankrupt film studio reached a tentative agreement with dozens of his alleged victims that would not require him to admit any wrongdoing or pay any of his own money, The New York Times reports.
The agreement, which would pay $25 million to more than 30 actresses and former employees who have filed lawsuits accusing Weinstein of rape and sexual harassment, has been approved by the major parties involved, according to the report.
The deal would end nearly every lawsuit against Weinstein and his company, including future claims.
The settlement must still be signed by all parties and approved by a court.
The money would be paid by the Weinstein Company’s insurance company. The payout would be part of an overall $47 million settlement that also pays out the bankrupt company’s obligations.
Weinstein still faces sexual assault charges:
Though the settlement would bring an end to the dozens of lawsuits, Weinstein is still scheduled to be tried in Manhattan early next year on sexual assault charges brought by two accusers.
One of the women accused him of raping her at a Manhattan hotel in 2013. The other said he forced her to perform oral sex on him in 2006. He has denied the allegations.
Earlier this week, a judge increased his bail after prosecutors said he mishandled his ankle monitor.
“The narrow scope of Mr. Weinstein’s upcoming criminal trial only heightens the significance of the civil settlement, likely to be the only legal recourse for many of the women who said he abused them,” The Times noted. “Because some alleged victims have declined to participate in a criminal trial, or have complained of offenses that are not criminal or fall outside the statute of limitations.”
Some accusers decry deal:
Some accusers lamented the deal but said they did not want to interfere with payments to others.
“I don’t love it, but I don’t know how to go after him,” actress Katherine Kendall told The Times. “I don’t know what I can really do.”
Other accusers -- producer Alexandra Canosa and actress Wedil David -- plan to challenge the agreement.
“What’s most offensive is that they’re trying to force our client to settle,” said a lawyer for David.
“Even if the proposed deal goes through, its terms would come with uncertainty,” The Times noted. “Eighteen of the alleged victims would split $6.2 million, with no individual getting more than $500,000. A separate pot of money, $18.5 million, would be set aside for those who were part of a class-action case, the New York attorney general’s suit and any future claimants, with a court-appointed monitor allocating payments based on the severity of the harm alleged.”